You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Two Dubuque Men Charged In Meth Lab That Caused Fire

John Starks Sr., age 46, and Casey Duhme, age 24, both from Dubuque, Iowa, have been charged with multiple methamphetamine-related offenses connected to a building fire that occurred on February 20, 2014 in Dubuque.  The charges are contained in an Indictment unsealed in the United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. 

The Indictment alleges that, on or about February 20, 2014, Starks and Duhme attempted to manufacture methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of Prescott Elementary School in Dubuque.  The Indictment also alleges that Starks and Duhme conspired to manufacture methamphetamine, and that Starks possessed pseudoephedrine knowing it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

According to information disclosed in court, the attempted manufacture resulted in a fire at a multi-family apartment building.  The fire caused significant damage, causing the roof to collapse and rendering the building unlivable.  The building was located across the street from the elementary school.      

If convicted on all charges, Starks faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 120 years’ imprisonment, a $4,500,000 fine, $400 in special assessments, and at least 6 years and up to a life term of supervised release following any imprisonment.­

Duhme faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 80 years’ imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, $200 in special assessments, and at least 6 years and up to a life term of supervised release following any imprisonment.

Duhme and Starks have both appeared in federal court in Cedar Rapids.  Duhme appeared in court on May 13, 2014 and Starks appeared on May 22, 2014.  Both are being held in the custody of the United States Marshal pending their July 14, 2014 trial.  Duhme and Starks are scheduled to next appear for a status hearing at noon on June 18, 2014.  

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lightfoot and was investigated by the Dubuque Drug Task Force, the Dubuque Police Department, and the Dubuque Fire Department.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/ cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is 14-cr-1009.

Component(s): 
Updated February 19, 2015